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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 311 ..

MR CORBELL: I made that comment prior to the motion being passed, not after it. I would not want to reflect on a vote of the Assembly.

Mr Dunne: No, you did reflect on the vote of the Assembly afterwards.

MR CORBELL: Well, you did not take a point of order. However, I believe that the government is accountable for its policies and for the need to respond to the needs of the community. We were elected on that basis. I have administrative responsibility for the Gungahlin Development Authority. I am accountable to this Assembly for the actions of that authority in so far as they relate to my relationship with it.

I am very pleased to say that the government believes that the actions of the Gungahlin Development Authority are appropriate. They are appropriate and they are properly informed by extensive public consultation and by extensive planning analysis and advice. What the community of Gungahlin wants to see is more shops, more services and more jobs in their local area and this government will not be party to any proposition that delays that happening. You may be, Mrs Cross, the Liberals may be, the Democrats and the Greens may be, but the Labor Party will not.


MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Mr Stanhope, on 2CC this morning, a caller was speaking with the presenter, Mike Jeffries, about volunteer firefighters from the Tallaganda Shire, who were turned away when they offered assistance on 18 January. The caller said they knew for a fact that 11 Tallaganda units were knocked back. How do I know? I listened to it.

WIN News gave a quote from a volunteer firefighter from Harden, who claims that his volunteer brigade was not properly utilised on the day.

These people are not anonymous. They are not faceless sources, but people who want to have their say. As this is a time for calm, what assurances can you give that the Coroner's inquest and Mr McLeod's review will give these people, and other people, the proper opportunity to say their piece?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Mrs Burke for the question. I am aware that there is difficulty in some quarters in grasping the nature of coronial or judicial inquiries, and administrative inquiries, and the fact that they are set up for that very purpose-namely to permit a full and thorough investigation of all aspects-in this case of the bushfires which impacted so devastatingly on 18 January.

The coronial inquiry has commenced, and it is a full judicial process. At this very time, 10 officers of the Australian Federal Police are essentially camped in the offices of the Emergency Services Bureau, progressively photocopying every document relevant to this fire. They are going through all the files, all the papers, all the filing cabinets and all the documents in the possession of the Emergency Services Bureau and in the possession of all of those people who had a role in this fire. Ten members of the Australian Federal Police are engaged in this process at this moment.

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